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Analysis: The Texas crisis is not how modern life is supposed to work

February 18, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 26.4%. 2 min read.

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 16: Freezer sections are closed off in Fiesta supermarket on February 16, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Winter storm Uri has brought historic cold weather, power outages and traffic accidents to Texas as storms have swept across 26 states with a mix of freezing temperatures and precipitation. (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)

The US health care system has been strained near capacity by the Covid outbreak.

The unfolding power crisis there is another reminder -- in case anyone needed it -- a year into this pandemic that cities, countries and the whole of modern civilization depend on systems that are complicated and surprisingly easy to disrupt.

If Limbaugh were here today, surely he'd be joining the chorus of Republicans and conservatives blaming wind energy -- non-winterized turbines freezing up -- for the continued power problems in Texas.

"Our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10% of our power grid, and that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power on a statewide basis. "

He also pointed the finger at the body known as ERCOT, or, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, an independent organization that operates Texas' power grid.

Unlike the rest of the country, Texas basically seceded its electricity from the federal system, a decision being second-guessed as people freeze during blackouts when they need power most.

Texas gloating about California's power problems hasn't aged well

The Hill pulled tweets from Texas lawmakers poking fun at California for its wildfires and power problems in recent years.

Daniel Cohan is an associate professor of Civil and Environmental engineering at Rice and he told CNN's Brianna Keilar today it's actually a symptom of Texas being too reliant on natural gas, which requires a constant stream of gas at all times.

"Really what we're seeing in Texas is that our energy systems fail us," he said.

"I say energy systems because this goes beyond the power system which is so clearly failing us with blackouts, but seeing how vulnerable the natural gas and electricity systems are to each other when we are so reliant on natural gas for supplying both our electricity and heat. "

"This is a totally unacceptable crisis for millions of people to be out of power, out of heat, for water systems to be going down now, and deadly situation for people to be so cold in their homes. "

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